By Jedidiah McKeehan
If someone files an order of protection against you, you are not facing jail time, but you are facing something with serious implications.
An order of protection prevents an individual from having contact of any kind with another person and lasts for one year. This means that even if the person who has an order of protection against you contacts you, you cannot contact them back. If they text you, you cannot respond. If you see them as Walmart, you need to turn around and walk right back out the door. If you all were part of the same bowling league, its time for you to find a new bowling league.
But what if they tell you they want to get back together with you and it was all a huge misunderstanding? What if they tell you not to worry about it, and that they would never tell the court that you’ve contacted them. Don’t fall for it! No matter what they say, don’t contact them.
There are only a few limited circumstances when you are allowed to have contact with a person after you have an order of protection in place against you. For example, if you need to get clothes from their residence, you will need to have the cops escort you there and make sure there is no real interaction between the two of you.
Most of the exceptions allowing contact revolve mainly around contact between people who have children together. The court will often enter orders that allow the parties to have contact about pickups and drop-offs and may restrict that communication to text message or email.
If a violation of an order of protection is found to have occurred, the person who violates the order faces up to 10 days in jail for each violation. That means that if you send 10 text messages to someone who has an order of protection against you, you could potentially face 100 days in jail. Serious jail time for only 10 text messages.
Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties. He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit attorney-knoxville.com for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.